A Heartbeat Away From Moving Back To India
Sometimes I feel like I’m a heartbeat away from moving to India. Maybe it will take one more cell-phone contract or one more explanation of what Namaste means before I run to the airport.
Granted, I have moments like these in India too, where I’m one more electricity-being-cut-off-day from attacking the electricity board and coming back, but they’re more frequent here. (Of course, because I live in Canada.)
So in light of a recent annoyance, here are a few things that make me want to pack my bags.
1. Groceries – Considering how much one has to walk in a grocery store here in Canada, it’s amazing we’re not all size zeros. Oh wait, maybe it’s all the genetically modified ‘food’ we’re eating. I want my sabji wala (vegetable vendor) to come to my doorstep, eat seasonal vegetables and have it be the normal thing to do.
2. The questions – Ok, I know I’m Indian but I don’t have a PhD. in explaining Indianness. Half of the things my country does – I don’t understand why. I didn’t know what Namaste meant (its literal definition) or read any religious books (except the Bible funnily) until I moved to Canada. While those asking questions mean well, it would be like asking why Canadians eat rice with a fork. It evokes a, “huh? I have no idea!”
[You will, of course, come to a point where you stop caring about these things and start asking for a spoon at restaurants. More on the stages of moving away from India later.]
3. Festivals – Considering that I was recently in India for the entire festival season, I have a fresh reminder of what I’m missing out on. And let’s just say it’s a lot. There’s only so many Diwalis I can celebrate on Facebook and only so many times I can listen to Rang Barse to make up for Holi. Even Christmas is livelier on the streets of Mumbai.
4. Confused identity – I recently saw an advertisement for a Canadian bank that suggested I bank with them because they’re near Babloo’s school and didi’s house. As I order my pizza with Punjabi style sauce and Chai Tea at Starbucks, I feel as confused as that pizza must feel.
5. Family – Last but certainly not the least, moving away from home does mean being away from close family and friends. Sometimes you lose count of how many birthdays, weddings or rakhis you miss and it’s not until you’re eating that cake or tying that rakhi that you realize you’ve missed so many.
Somewhere during your hot chocolate infused days in winter wonderland or weekend parties in warmer lands, you will have moments where you realize you’re missing out on something. Maybe it will be a simple thing like craving chai and samosas at midnight or something big like feeling pride when Wal-Mart gets rejected by the Indian government to open stores in India, that you’ll miss being part of the beat.
And just like that ladies and gentlemen, the dual-SIM identity continues…
[Guest post by Seema Dhawan who is always planning her next trip to India and blogs about having a dual-sim identity. You can find her on Twitter @WordAffair. If you would like to write for amreekandesi.com, please read this first, and shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org]